Information Technology has had a huge impact on how businesses are run. The adoption of technology has transformed the ecosystem in the last three decades. The swanky office that we see today is all thanks to the evolution of computing technology. They have helped increase productivity, profits, and cut down the turnaround time for most tasks. If we are to hold a poll on the world’s most productivity tool, Microsoft Excel would surely win hands down. For more than three decades, it has been the most used productivity tool easing the lives of thousands of professionals from Accountants to Marketers and from Human Resource personnel to Data Analysts.
Computing Technology is going through an inflection point where the old is giving way to the new. Big Data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, etc. has become part of the common discourse. In such a scenario, you might wonder if MS Excel is still relevant and whether acquiring advanced excel skills would boost your career. To state a fact, Excel is not only relevant, but it is rocking, and its usage is still increasing exponentially. Let us now look at some convincing arguments why mastery over Excel can boost your career –
Employers Demand This Skill
It is estimated that more than 80% of the businesses around the world use MS Excel in some form to increase their productivity. In fact, when a potential employer or recruiter is scanning through your CV, one of the keywords that they would look for is MS Excel. This isn’t surprising as it is nearly impossible for someone to be employable in a desk job in today’s world without having knowledge of Excel. Whether it is filling in the sales figures or doing basic accounting work, Excel is the go-to tool for every business. While you may have basic knowledge in this tool to boost your career prospects, you need to acquire advanced Excel skills. Knowledge in Excel functions such as SUMIF, VLOOKUP, and EXCEL IF is highly sought after in today’s market.
Excel Boosts Career Growth
If you aren’t working in a deskbound job, you may still wonder if you need to learn Excel. Your day to day job activity may be working in the field or supervising other workers on the ground. Do you still need to take Excel training? The answer is a big ‘Yes’ unless of course, you are happy working in the field for the rest of your life and don’t fancy rising up in the corporate ladder. The natural career progression for any field agent would be to rise up to the managerial role. When you have to manage a team, it would require a considerable amount of desk jobs such as preparing reports, maintaining log sheets, etc. This is where knowledge in Excel becomes a must-have skill on your CV. If you don’t have it yet, you may need to reskill yourself in the future when you need to make the transition from fieldwork to a managerial role. Don’t ignore the fact that you may miss an opportunity and see someone else rise due to lack of this skill.
It Improves Your Analytical Skills
If you haven’t worked on Excel much, it might just seem a large grid of columns and rows. But the fact is Excel is much more than a simple spreadsheet to enter data. One of the biggest advantages of learning Excel is that it helps you in improving your analytical skills. You will learn to derive information out of raw data. Excel offers you several tools that let you filter tasks, sort the data you have entered, and create charts and graphs for visualization. As you go along mastering this tool, you will be able to perform several intricate tasks that let you convert raw data into actionable information. You will be able to analyze the trends in your data and also spot future trends. Whether you are in the Sales, Marketing, or HR team of the organization, this analytical skill would come handy in your career.
Advanced Excel Skills Can Increase Your Salary
The paycheck you take home is one of the most important aspects of your career. Every employee in the world would like to be compensated maximum for the skills he/she brings to the table, and the task performed at work. The fact that employees who have mastery over Excel and its advanced functions are more productive they command higher salaries in all organization. In several career roles such as accounting, HR, data analysis with advanced Excel training, you will be able to deliver output that would be higher than people who don’t have this skill. This isn’t likely to escape the eyes of your employer, and hence you’d command higher salaries compared to your peers.
It Makes You More Organized
This may not be a direct benefit to your employability or the salary you can command as an employee, but this does definitely help you in the long run. Automation is threatening to cut down millions of jobs in the future. While the job market is already competitive, the level of competition would touch the roof in the future. Mastery over Excel helps you in becoming a more organized worker. You will get into the habit of recording data and analyzing them. Apart from applying Excel into your day to day job activities, you would be able to use it for future planning. It can save you precious time in performing some of the mundane activities in life, helping you become more organized as a worker.
You don’t need any more convincing, do you? Whether you are taking early steps in your career or looking to add mid-career skills, Excel is one tool that you need to master. There are several short term courses that you can join to learn the advanced Excel functions such as SUMIF and VLOOKUP, as we have mentioned earlier. You can also watch video tutorials that would help you add to your Excel skills and give a major boost to your career.
Mark Gill is an online trainer conducting professional training classes on Microsoft Office tools. As a former project manager with a blue-chip company, he has used MS Office tools, especially MS Excel, extensively. He regularly writes blogs on the use of Excel and its several functions detailing solutions to the common challenges executives have with the use of this tool. Apart from conducting online training he also works as a Business Analyst with start-ups and SMBs.